How to Grow Clivias in Australia

Clivias can be grown in almost any environment but will struggle to thrive in full sunlight. They also require lots of water. In full shade, they develop limp, leggy growth that isn’t nearly as attractive as it should be. 

Here’s a guide to help determine the best soil and how to water Clivia once they have been planted.

Best conditions to plant civias

Clivias should only be planted between 10 and 15 cm deep. This will give the bulbs stability as well as better soil moisture access. Most gardens don’t require soil preparation. However, it is important to plant bulbs 20-30 cm apart so that they don’t grow too densely during their first year.

Sunlight is vital 

Clivias do best in partial shade or dappled sunlight. Full shade is ok, but Clivia won’t perform to its best. Clivias can’t bloom in full sun and will wilt quickly when the soil is dry.


If they have a cold winter, Clivias can grow outside. Without a cold spell, Clivias will either not flower, or flower poorly, so it’s important to keep Clivia in pots in warmer parts of the country.

In WA, it’s worth growing Clivia in pots, and lifting their bulbs after the foliage has died back in autumn, then giving them a week in an air-tight bag in the fridge. It may sound extreme but it will result in healthier blooms the next year.

Watering Clivia

Clivia bulbs must be well watered from the beginning. Once they start to bloom, the soil should remain moist. Clivia bulbs should not be allowed to get too wet. Clivias can store large quantities of their water in small bulbs. 

What Soil Should You Use?

Clivia prefers well-drained soil, but not too rich. In their natural habitat, Clivia receives low-level nutrients as leaf litter. This helps to aerate soil and add nitrogen. This can also be done with compost made from half of the leaf mould and half garden soil in pots.

Indoor Growing of Clivias

Clivia can grow indoors and outdoors as beautiful houseplants. Clivia plants can also be grown in less humid areas and given controlled light levels by moving them around.

However, as with growers in WA, it’s worth giving your plants a cold snap in autumn or winter, when the foliage has died back, to promote healthier blooms the following year.

This can be done by either moving the bulb outside to a shaded spot or by simply snapping the bulbs inside the fridge.

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How to Grow Clivias In Australia

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